MPC27: Kian Weng Choong commands Red Dragon final eight

September 07, 2017

The penultimate day is in the books and the Red Dragon final table is now set!

When proceedings began at 3pm there were 81 hopefuls still in contention but 11 hours later and we’re down to just eight vying for the Red Dragon title, the prestigious trophy, and the HK$3,472,000 (~$444,300).

The man leading the way is Malaysia’s Kian Weng Choong who navigated his way through the pack today to end with a commanding chip lead. Chung has $88,893 in live earnings to his name with his biggest score coming right here when he shipped the APT Macau Main Event in June for $66,788.

Choong will be taking an impressive 7.19 million through to the final table.

MPC27 Kian Weng Choong.jpg

Kian Weng Choong

Closing out the podium are Calvin Tan with 5.17 million and Tong Tan on 3.305 million. You can read more about them and the rest of the final tablists in the player profiles which should be live sometime tonight.

Here’s how they’ll stack up and where they’re sitting when they come back tomorrow.

Seat First Name Last Name Country Chip Count
1 Tong Tan Singapore 3,305,000
2 Terence Wu Hong Kong 1,845,000
3 Calvin Tan Singapore 5,170,000
4 Kian Weng Choong Malaysia 7,190,000
5 Qiuming Qin China 1,740,000
6 Xilei Li China 1,570,000
7 Mian Wei China 3,200,000
8 Mike Huang China 2,279,000

MPC27 FT.jpg

That’s how the final table looks now but we witnessed an electric day of poker here at PokerStars LIVE Macau before it was set.

Start-of-day chip leader Thomas Ward admittedly looked a little (or a lot) hungover after the Players Party last night, but he still fought valiantly to ultimately pick up a 12th place finish for HK$182,200 (~$23,300). Others who fell by the wayside here on Day 3 include Bobby Zhang, Hongli Ding, Iori Yogo and Nan Tu.

And perhaps the day’s most bittersweet finishes were the simultaneous exits of Ankush Prasad and YuanHang Zhong in the final hand of the night. Prasad moved all in first with A♦2♦ and after Zhong did the same holding Q♣Q♦ it was then on Tong Tan who had them both covered. He deliberated for over two minutes before finally slamming in a call with A♠Q♥ and the very excited players from the other table rushed over to sweat the action.

Tan shot to the lead on the A♥4♥9♦ flop and the crowd roared at the likelihood of not just making the final table but now also picking up another payjump to boot. The 10♦ turn changed nothing and neither did the 6♠ river which rolled off to send two players packing and signal the end of Day 3.

MPC27 FT bubble.jpg

Now all that’s left is to wait until tomorrow where we’ll watch one of the final eight players become the Red Dragon champion. It all kicks off from 3pm local time (GMT+8) so be sure to join us then!

2:10m: Double KO ends the night! Prasad (10th) and Zhong (9th) bust
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

What a hand to end the night with!

First Ankush Prasad shoved for 700,000. Then Yuanhang Zhong shouted “All in!” and slammed in some chips worth 1.04 million. Finally it was over to Tong Tan, and he went deep into the tank.

About two minutes later, he slammed in a call for 1.05 million. Cards on their backs:

Prasad: A♦2♦
Zhong: Q♦Q♣
Tan: A♠Q♥

Zhong let out a cheer when he saw he was ahead, but anything could happen and usually does. The A♥4♥9♦ flop put Tan well in the lead, and he stayed there on the 10♦ turn and 6♠ river to bust them both.

Play has now ended for the night, we’ll be back with a recap of the day shortly, including the final table draw and chip counts. Don’t go anywhere. –JS

1:40am: Calvin culls Chan
Level 29 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

We’re just one elimination away from the end of the day now after Justin Chan has fallen in 11th place.

It was a tough spot in a battle of the blinds with Calvin Tan that saw the demise of Chan’s tournament. On a flop of A♦J♥A♥ Tan fired from the small blind for 175,000 and Chan made the call from the big blind to see the J♦ double-pair the board.

Tan then moved all in and put Chan to a decision for his remaining 1.12 million in chips. Chan gave it some thought before opting to call off but saw he was all but dead to one out when Tan flipped up A♣5♥ for aces full. Chan held J♠3♦ but unfortunately for him he couldn’t find the miracle case jack to make quads and stay in the running.

Tan’s rail cheered and high fived each other as he took down the big pot to shoot up the counts with a new tally of 6 million.

MPC27 Justin Chan.jpg

Justin Chan

1:25am: Huang gets active (and a bit lucky)
Level 28 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Mike Huang opened to 200,000 in the cutoff and it folded to Ankush Prasad in the small blind who moved all in for around 600,000. Huang made the call, and was in bad shape with the K♥7♦ against Prasad’s K♣J♦.

The K♦A♥9♣ flop had Prasad’s rail cheering, as did the 3♥ turn. But they failed to notice the 3♦ river actually chopped the pot, instead of giving Prasad the double up. When they noticed, the celebrations died down.

“At least you didn’t lose!” said Huang in consolation. Chop it up.

Huang opened the hijack to 230,000 in the very next hand, but then laid it down to an 850,000 all in jam from Tong Tan. –JS

1:15am: Level 28 chip counts
Level 28 – Blinds 50,000/100,000 (ante 10,000)

Here’s how the final 11 players stack up going into Level 28. We need to lose two more tonight.

Table 1:

1. Mike Huang – 1.935 million
2. Terence Wu – 1.215 million
3. Ankush Prasad – 595,000
4. Yuanhong Prasad – 970,000
5. Tong Tan – 2.035 million
6. Kian Weng Choon – 7.665 million

Table 2:

1. Qiuwing Qi – 2.18 million
2. Mian Wei – 2.44 million
3. Calvin Tan – 3.825 million
4. Justin Chan – 1.73 million
5. Xilei Li – 1.38 million

1am: Take a break

We’ll be back in 15 minutes.

12:45am: Overnight chip leader Ward falls in 12th
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

He put on a dominant display in the latter levels of last night, and end-of-Day 2 chip leader Thomas Ward managed to manoeuvre his way through this field today despite taking some hits to his stack.

In the end his run has come to an end in 12th. Qiuming Qin announced raise but only slid in one 100K stack when he wanted to put in two. That meant it was deemed a min-raise to 160,000, and when it folded to the big blind of Thomas Ward he made the call.

The flop came Q♣2♦9♦ and Ward checked it. Qin put in a bet, but before we could see how much it was Ward had gone all in for 600,000 total and Qin had snap-called.
Ward showed the 9♠7♠ middle pair, while Qin had the goods with the K♠K♥. The 4♥ turn and Q♦ river changed nothing and the man from New Zealand was eliminated.

Qin is up to 2.65 million now. –JS

12:40am: Nan Tu no more
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Action folded to the small blind of Calvin Tan, who after some deliberation moved all in to put the shorter stack of Nan Tu at risk. Tu made the call and the cards were on their backs.

Tan had the A♥J♠ and that was ahead of Tu’s Q♠6♦. The K♣7♣5♣10♥3s] runout ensured things stayed that way, and Tu said his goodbyes.

“Holy sh**!” said a member of Tan’s rail. “You had 600K last level!”

He did indeed. But now he has 3.8 million. –JS

MPC27 Nan Tu.jpg

Nan Tu

12:35am: Tan takes out Jieng
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

The pace of play has really sped up now and we’re seeing people exit in quick succession. The most recent of which was Weichan Jieng.

It was only moments after an all in on the other table but we managed to catch that Jieng had A♥J♦ against Calvin Tan’s 8♠8♣ and watched the pocket eights hold when the community cards fell 2♦2♥7♥5♣9♦.

Another one bites the dust.

12:30am: Chu’d up and spit out
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Ying Bing Chu’s Red Dragon run is over after he lost a crucial flip to Terry Wu.

It was Wu who committed his chips first during an under the gun jam and Chu stuck his short stack in for less from early position. Everyone else folded and the cards were tabled.

Chu: A♥J♣
Wu: 9♠9♦

“Nice, small, low,” Wu requested as the 7♥5♥3♠ flop landed.

He got his wish as the 6♦ turn and 3♣ river were both low, small, and nice for him as he faded danger. Chu, however, was left high and dry and made his way to the cashier.

12:15am: Wang sent home by Huang
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Bing Wang has fallen just a few short of a final table after he finally committed his short stack with a baby pair and ran into a slightly bigger one.

Wang moved all in under the gun for 430,000 and was called by Mike Huang next to the act. The rest of the table got out of the way and players flip over their hands.

Wang: 2♠2♦
Huang: 3♠3♦

Wang was chasing a deuce but the K♠9♥7♣4♠6♥ runout failed to deliver. The pot was pushed Huang’s way and Wang was left wondering what if.

12:05am: That’s right baby!
Level 27 – Blinds 40,000/80,000 (ante 10,000)

Calvin Tan has more than trebled up after a three-way all-in went his way.

It started with a Thomas Ward open under the gun and an under-the-gun+1 jam from Xie Li for around 1.3 million. That folded to Tan on the button who committed his 600,000 stack, and then the action was Nan Tu who went into the tank in the small blind before announcing an all in with biggest stack of them all.

Ward swiftly got out the way, and all three flipped their hands:

Li: 7♦7♠
Tan: K♥K♠
Tu: A♦K♦

Any any or three diamonds could have seen Tu secure a double KO, but instead the 2♥2♣6♥3♥5♥ runout was very safe for the pocket kings.

“That’s right baby!” yelled members of Tan’s rail. “F**k yeah! Ship it baby!”

Ship it they did, and Tan now has 1.9 million. Tu is down to around 500,000, and Li still makes a profit in the hand by winning the 1.4 million side pot. –JS

11:45pm: Bo’s busted
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Another casualty brings us down to 16. The departed? That’ll be Bo Ouyang.

Qiuming Qin opened in the hijack to 140,000 and Ouyang flatted in the small blind. Justin Chan then either sensed weakness or woke up with something he liked (or both), and he jammed with the biggest stack putting the others to the test.

It would certainly prove testing for Qin, who tanked for a good two minutes before reluctantly letting his hand go. Ouyang called pretty quickly though for his last 600,000 or so, and turned over the A♠6♠. That was dominated by Chan’s A♥K♦.

The A♦J♦4♦K♣4♣ gave Ouyang one pair but Chan two, and Ouyang went to the cage. Chan is up to 2.6 million now. –JS

11:35pm: Mien Wei or the highway
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Mien Wei just picked up a perfect spot for a double up. Action folded to Qiuming Qin who jammed on the button, only for Wei to jam too in the small blind with a lesser stack. The big blind folded and Qin’s 10♦J♦ had run right into Wei’s A♣A♠.

The board ran out clean for the pocket rockets, bringing Wei up to 615,000 and Qin down to 1.5 million. –JS

11:30pm: Too fast Tu felted
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

Players haven’t been back from the dinner break long but we’ve already lost another one.

The most recent evictee was Chunlong Tu who committed his short stack and wound up on the wrong end of a flip.

Yuanhang Zhong opened from the hijack before Tu three-bet jammed for 450,000. Zhong made a quick call and the cards went on their backs.

Tu: K♥Q♣
Zhong: J♣J♦

Tu managed to take the lead on the 10♥A♥K♦ flop but the Q♠ turn left him shaking his head as Zhong improved to Broadway. Tu still had a few outs to make a full house or to chop but the 2♦ river wasn’t one of them.

He departs as Zhong builds to 1.8 million.

11:15pm: Huang gets there against Chu
Level 26 – Blinds 30,000/60,000 (ante 5,000)

A big pot just broke out between two former chip leaders, Mike Huang and Ying Bing Chu.

Huang opened the pot to 120,000 and it folded to Chu in the cutoff. He counted his chips for quite some time before eventually putting in a raise to 300,000. Back to Huang, he counted his chips out and had 1.22 behind, then made the call.

The 3♠10♥K♥ flop proved to one full of action. Huang checked, and Chu made a c-bet to 450,000 after a bit of thinking. Huang himself then thought through his decision, before announcing all in. Chu snap-called.

Chu: 10♦10♠
Huang: Q♥J♥

It was the set of Chu up against the royal flush draw of Huang, and the 8♦ turn was a brick. But the 7♥ completed Huang’s flush and the double up was his.

As Terrence Wu pointed out, “Against a set that’s the best you can get!”, and it certainly turned out that way for Huang who now has 2.8 million, while Chu drops to 850,000. –JS


Good as it gets for Huang

11:05pm: Updated chip counts

Table 1    
Seat 1 Mike Huang 1,335,000
Seat 2 Terrance Wu 855,000
Seat 3 Ankush Prasad 870,000
Seat 4 Ying Bing Chu 2,225,000
Seat 5 Yuanhang Zong 1,170,000
Seat 6 Tong Tan 1,700,000
Seat 7 Chunlong Tu 565,000
Seat 8 Kian Weng Chung 4,810,000
Seat 9 Bing Wang 865,000
Table 2    
Seat 1 Qiuming Qin 2,130,000
Seat 2 Mian Wei 720,000
Seat 3 Calvin Tan 685,000
Seat 4 Nan Tu 1,740,000
Seat 5 Bo Ouyang 1,030,000
Seat 6 Justin Chan 2,035,000
Seat 7 Thomas Ward 1,025,000
Seat 8 Xie Li 1,615,000
Seat 9 Weichan Jieng 775,000

11pm: Post-dinner action

Level 26 – Blinds 25,000/50,000 (ante 5,000)

Players have returned from dinner with full stomachs and a mind to gamble (we hope). Get the cards in the air.

9:50pm: Dinner break

Players have commenced a one-hour dinner break.

Join us again soon for continued coverage.

9:45pm: Lucky win for Wu
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Terrence Wu will be counting his blessings after a come from behind hand saw the deck save his tournament life.

The action folded around to Mike Huang in the small blind and he moved all in with enough to cover Wu’s 420,000 in the big. Wu thought about it for 45 seconds before announcing a call and seeing he had some catching up to do.

Huang: K♠4♣
Wu: J♣10♥

Wu was live and he found the help he needed on the turn when the cards fell A♦3♣5♥10♦7♥. He doubles up right before the dinner break.

9:30pm: Final two table draw
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Table 1

Seat 1: Mike Huang – 1.95 million
Seat 2: Terrence Wu – 120,000
Seat 3: Ankush Prasad – 1.1 million
Seat 4: Ying Bing Chu – 2.2 million
Seat 5: Yuanhang Zong – 900,000
Seat 6: Tong Tan – 1.9 million
Seat 7: Chunlong Tu – 450,000
Seat 8: Kian Weng Chung – 4.8 million
Seat 9: Bing Wang – 750,000

Table 2

Seat 1: Qiuming Qin – 2.1 million
Seat 2: Mian Wei – 825,000
Seat 3: Calvin Tan – 740,000
Seat 4: Nan Tu – 1.82 million
Seat 5: Bo Ouyang – 970,000
Seat 6: Justin Chan – 1.9 million
Seat 7: Thomas Ward – 1.4 million
Seat 8: Xie Li – 800,000
Seat 9: Weichun Jieng – 850,000

9:10pm: Final two tables
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Peng Zhou has just been busted by Thomas Ward, with Peng’s A♣6♣ all-in falling to Ward’s A♠Q♠ on a 5♣K♦9♥3♥2♦ runout.

With that, Ward is up to 1.4 million and we’re left with 18 players. That means it’s time for a re-draw to the final two tables. We’ll have the seat draws for you shortly. –JS

9:10pm: The rich get richer
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

It’s good to be Kian Weng Choong right now. Not only does he have the chip lead, but the cards continue to fall in his favour.

After Peng Zhou opened to 80,000 from the cutoff, Choong three-bet the button to 220,000 and when it got back to Zhou he made the call. They saw a 7♦A♥Q♠ and Choong decided not to c-bet when checked to.

There would be no more betting on the 2♦ turn either, but things got interesting on the 10♦ river. Zhou checked a final time and finally Choong reached to his big stack for some chips. He counted out 300,000 and placed them over the line, and now Zhou went into the tank.

He counted out his whole stack and separated the calling chips. If he called and was wrong he’d have jjst 275,000 left, and eventually he decided it was worth calling.

We never saw his hand though. Choong turned over the Q♦9♦ for a flopped pair of queens that hit running diamonds to make a flush, and Zhou mucked.

Choong is even further in front now with 4.3 million. –JS


Choong’s bossing

9pm: Tu strong
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

Nan Tu is currently stacking chips – much to the chagrin of Haifeng Xue who he just eliminated.

When the action folded around to Xue in the small blind he moved all in for his last 550,000 with K♣3♠, only to be called by Nan Tu in the big blind holding the dominant A♣K♠.

Xue needed help but was dead by the turn on the 7♦Q♥2♠A♥K♦ runout. He made his way to the cashier while Tu reached a new total of 2.2 million.

8:45pm: Huang putting big stack to work
Level 25 – Blinds 20,000/40,000 (ante 5,000)

We’ve now entered Level 25, but while the blinds were going up Mike Huang was playing chip bully.

First he opened, got three-bet by Justin Chan, and then four-bet jammed. Chan laid it down and has 900,000.

Then, action folded to Weichun Jieng in the small blind and he limped. Huang just checked and the two saw an A♥A♣5♣ flop, which Jieng checked. Huang tossed in 30,000 for one big blind, and Jieng made the call.

The turn came the 3♠ and Jieng checked once more. A small and lacklustre pot then became a very serious one, as Huang shoved to put Jiang and his 550,000 at risk.

Jiang tanked for some time so clearly had something he liked. He’d give it up though, bringing Huang up to 3.1 million. –JS

8:30pm: Action slowing dramatically
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Play has noticeably slowed down now as we approach the final two tables.

Perhaps the pay jumps are starting to get to a few players, or maybe they’ve just been card dead for a stretch. We’ll be keeping an eye out for anything noteworthy to share as soon as possible!

8:20pm: To the Choong of 3.6 million
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

We’ve got a new chip leader in our midst. Kian Weng Choong of Malaysia is now playing 3.6 million after eliminating a player.–JS

8:15pm: Luo leaves
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Weichun Jiang just added a nice pile to his chip stack, eliminating Qi Luo in the process.

Jiang opened to 85,000 and that was flatted by Justin Chan. Luo then shoved, and Jiang re-jammed for 375,000. Chan tanked for a while but laid it down, and the two were heads up.

Luo tabled the 7♠7♥, before Jiang slammed down the J♠J♥ with pride. The flop fell Q♦5♣9♦, and when the turn came the J♦ he clapped his hands in celebration. The inconsequential 5♥ river card meant Luo was out, and Jiang now sits with around 760,000. –JS


Jiang sees the good news

8:05pm: Huang hits the lead; Pan heading home
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Mike Huang is our new chip leader now after Yuefeng Pan’s entire stack was sent his way.

We caught the 9♠A♣A♥K♥4♥ board just in time as the dealer was pushing Pan’s chips to Huang. Pan had 7♠7♦ face up in front of him but that was evidently no match for Huang’s A♦J♥ for three of a kind.

Huang now has 2.5 million which is good for the current top spot.

MPC27 Mike Huang.jpg

Mike Huang making the most of today

8pm: Final three tables
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

The clock was paused for a re-draw as we’re down to just three tables. 24 remain. –JS

7:55pm: Zhao departs
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

We’re sad to report that our last woman standing, Yiwei Zhao, has just been eliminated.

Kian Choong opened to 75,000 and it folded to Zhao on the button. She thought for quite some time, and eventually announced she was all in, which led to a tank from Choong when it folded back to him. He counted out all his chips, and then made the call.

He held the A♠K♦ while she was in bad shape with the A♣Q♣. However, the 10♣4♠3♣ flop certainly made things interesting.

Zhao’s rail was roaring for clubs, but the J♦ and 6♦ on the turn and river couldn’t save her from busting. She hit the rail. –JS

7:45pm: Another double up for Cong
Level 24 – Blinds 15,000/30,000 (ante 5,000)

Everything’s coming up Cong.

Having doubled up just before the break, Zihan Cong found another good spot, jamming for 345,000 in middle position before Calvin Tan shoved over the top to isolate. Everyone else folded and the cards were flipped:

Cong: A♦J♦
Tan: A♥K♠

Cong was dominated and would need some help, which he found none of on the 9♦8♣2♣ flop. The J♥ turn was exactly what the doctor ordered though, followed by the 10♠ river.

Cong is now playing 720,000, while Tan has 1.1 million. –JS

7:20pm: Break time chip counts

Players are now taking a 15 minute break. As it stands we have a new chip leader in Yung Bing Chu of Taiwan, who is now playing 2.4 million.

The next big stacks belong to Thomas Ward with 2.3 million and Mike Huang with 1.8 million. Meanwhile, Jun Obara has 900,000, our last remaining female player Yihei Zhao has 850,000, and Ankush Prasad has 630,000. –JS


Chu-ing up the chips

7:10pm: Oh no for Yea
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

In what looked to be a pretty sick hand, Steve Yea has just been felted.

We didn’t see the action, but when we heard the roars from the table we dashed over for look. It seems Yea held [Kx][5x] and his opponent Ankush Prasad held [Ax][Kx], and the board showed [Ax][Kx][Ax][5x][5x]. We’ve no idea when the money went in, but both had boats.

Yea will collect HK$61,300 for his efforts. –JS

7pm: King Cong
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

You don’t mess with the Zihan…Cong.

Yep, Zihan Cong has just doubled up. After an open. to 55,000 and a flat by Chunlong Tu, Cong had a long think before deciding to commit has remaining 186,000 to the pot. The opener folded, and Tu took a look back at his hand before making the call.

He had the 3♦3♣ and was flipping against Cong’s A♥10♣, which took the lead immediately on the A♣10♠9♥ flop. The turn was the 5♥ and the river the 8♠, meaning this pot shipped to Cong.

He has around 400,000 now, while Tu is still healthy with 950,000. –JS

6:55pm: Lin loses to aces
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Hao Qiang Lin has just made his way to the payout desk after a tough break saw him run into a tablemate’s pocket aces.

Lin got a sizable 540,000 all in preflop but quickly saw the bad news.

Lin: A♦10♥
Opponent: A♠A♣

Lin caught a glimmer of hope on the turn with the board running out 4♠6♥5♣10♦ but he was unable to follow up with the two outer on the 8♣ river to stay alive.

He departs as the winner hi-fived his rail and cheered.

6:45pm: Fat Cheong Wong gets strong
Level 23 – Blinds 12,000/24,000 (ante 3,000)

Fat Cheong Wong’s stack just put on a lot of weight.

He opened to 75,000, only for Wei Yang to move all in for 420,000. Back to Wong, he only had 317,000 behind but he didn’t stick it in right away. He tanked for a while, but eventually made the call for his tournament life. Players at his table seemed as little surprised at how strong his hand was when he turned over the A♠Q♣.

Yang held the 6♥6♠ for a flip, and the coin landed on Wong’s side with the A♦4♣3♣ flop. The 8♥ turn and 7♠ river didn’t affect anything.

Wong is up to around 650,000 now, while Yang drops to just 105,000. –JS

6:35pm: Lee lands a double
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 2,000)

Changjae Lee has doubled up after a crafty limp-jam from the small blind.

It folded around to Lee and he completed in the small blind before the big blind bumped it up to 80,000. Lee tanked for over a minute before finally motioning all in for 292,000. The big blind called it off and the cards went on their backs.

Lee: 10♠10♣
Big blind: A♠4♣

“I had an ace,” said Hongli Ding which was good news for Lee.

As was the K♠7♣4♠8♦10♦ runout which saw him fade danger and secure a big double up.

6:25pm: Ward still leads
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 2,000)

We’re three levels into Day 3 now and the man who led coming in is still the one to beat.

Thomas Ward has increased his stack up to 2 million. –JS


Ward’s up top

6:15pm: Time to Yogo home
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 2,000)

We’ve just lost Iori Yogo, who sits 3rd on Japan’s all-time money list, from the Red Dragon in 36th place.

He opened jammed what looked to be around 300,000 from early position with the K♠K♦, but there was some bad news waiting for him in the big blind. Yiwei Zhao woke up with the A♠A♥ and obviously called, and the rockets held up.

She’s up to 850,000 now. –JS


No go for Yogo

6pm: Wang walks
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 2,000)

Phillip Wang won’t be slaying the Red Dragon this week – he just ran a good pair into a better one to find the rail.

Wang had around 350,000 in play and all his chips ended up in the middle preflop before he saw he’d need a gift from the deck to stay alive.

Wang: 10♠10♦
Opponent: J♥J♣

The runout was a tenless 4♣4♦8♥A♥Q♣ and Wang was sent to the payout desk.

5:45pm: The Level 22 lull
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/20,000 (ante 2,000)

We’re two and a half levels into the day and half the field has gone. You know what that means…time for a lull.

Play has tightened up somewhat, and the only exciting hands we’ve seen have of late have ended in chops.

Take this one for example. Chunlong Tu opened to 44,000 in the lojack and Jiabin Deng jammed for 145,000 on the button. Back to Tu, he made the call, and what they had they had will shock you:

Both had ace-nine. And the flop brought no excitement. Chop it up, boys.

Hopefully we’ll be back with some action soon. –JS

5:30pm: Li left short
Level 22 – Blinds 10,000/120,000 (ante 3,000)

Chengbei Li final tabled the Red Dragon at MPC24 but his chances of doing it again have taken a hit after he just lost a chunk of chips to finish a recent hand with six big blinds.

After a late position open to 57,000 from a stack of around double that, Li three-bet jammed all in from the button for 244,000. The initial opener called off for his tournament life and the hands were flipped over.

Li: K♥J♥
Opponent: K♣Q♣

Li was dominated and nothing changed when the cards fell 2♦Q♦3♠A♣5♥. The king queen high held and Li was knocked down to 120,000.

5:15pm: Shao’s out
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

The latest player to fall? That;ll be Leshi Shao.

He open-jammed for 115,000 and it folded all the way to the big blind of Xilei Li who snap-called. He tabled the A♠J♣, and although he was behind Shao was still live with the Q♦9♣.

Not after the 10♣K♥Q♠ flop though. Li flopped the stone nuts and Shao would only win with running cards for a full house. The turn and river came the 7♠10♠, and that was that.

With that elimination, Li is up to 630,000. –JS

5:05pm: Break time

The remaining 49 players are taking a 15-minute break. Join us back here after. –JS

5:05pm: More for Obara
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Jun Obara’s upward trend has continued since big big double up.

Picking up the action on a 5♠2♥4♠ flop, Qi Luo check-called a 32,000 bet to see a K♥ turn, which he also checked. Obara fired again for 70,000, and Luo called once again.

The river came the 8♦, but it inspired no more action. Obara flipped over the K♦10♠ for a turned pair, and that bested Luo’s 6♠5♣. –JS


Obara on the up

5pm: Ouyang Bo let’s one go
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Ouyang Bo has been building a nice stack but he just encountered a slight setback in a recent hand.

Bo opened to 36,000 from the cutoff before he was three-bet to 81,000 by the button. Ouyang stuck around and the flop came down 7♠6♥8♥. Bo checked it over to the button and he ripped all in for right around 300,000.

That was too much for Ouyang who quickly let it go and dropped to 750,000.

4:50pm: Ding’s usual tricks
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Another classic Hongli Ding move for you.

He limped in the small blind and got a raise from the big blind of Calvin Tan to 56,000. how did Ding respond? He re-raised to 100,000. Fold.

Classic Ding. –JS

4:40pm: Tu takes out Xu
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

Jie Xu is the most recent Red Dragon casualty after running into the dominant hand of Chunlong Tu.

It folded around to Xu on the button and he jammed all in for his last 195,000. Tu looked down at his hand then asked for a count before quickly called when he saw Xu had a relatively short stack.

Xu: K♥J♠
Tu: A♠K♣

Xu picked up some extra outs on the 10♥10♣Q♠ flop but he couldn’t catch one on the 8♦ turn or 8♥ river. Tu’s ace high held to see Xu fall on the penultimate day.

4:25pm: The fall, fall, very small rise, and demise of Jun Zhou
Level 21 – Blinds 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000)

After a great day yesterday in which he seemed to get the best of start-of-day chip leader Thomas Ward in every confrontation, the future now is looking grim for Jun Zhou.

First he lost a large chunk of his stack when he opened to 40,000 under the gun and then called a 132,000 shove from Mian Wei. Zhou had them lucky eights (8♣8♠) against Wei’s A♣Q♦, but the poker gods chose not to gift the eights the win this time. The board ran out K♥A♦2♦K♠10♠ pairing Wei’s ace and giving him that the double up to 280,000.

A few hands later and Zhou was in action again. It folded to him in the cutoff and – to be honest I’m not entirely sure how the betting went down – but after everyone had acted he was all in with the 7♠8♥ against Philip Wang’s A♦Q♣. The Q♥J♣K♠ flop made things very difficult for him from the off, and he found no further help on the turn or river.

Wang doubled to 500,000 after Zhou added 224,000 to his stack, and Zhou was left with 4,000. After his 2,000 ante was added, he was all in and actually managed to increase his stack nine-fold in the next hand with pocket sevens. But he was out a couple of hands later, –JS

4:05pm: Lubas loses, Zhou increases
Level 21 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Another man down. Gerardo Lubas open-jammed the cutoff for his last 70,000 and Peng Zhou just called from the small blind. Darwin Lai gave up his big blind, and he’ll be glad he did as when he folded Zhou showed the A♦A♠, up against Lubas’ J♠5♠.

The dealer laid out a Q♦3♦J♥ flop, which gave Lubas some hope. But the A♥ turn demolished his chances and the 6♠ river meant nothing. Lubas was off to collect his winnings, while Zhou is up to 400,000 now. –JS

4pm: Tu the victor
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Nan Tu has a certified mountain of chips now after eliminating Yuanjun Lu.

Lu got all the money in on the 10♦Q♥4♠8♥ board only to see he’d been hit by a cold deck. Lu held Q♠10♠ for top two pair but Tu had him in rough shape with J♣9♣ for the straight.

There were four cards left in the deck that could save Lu but the 2♦ river wasn’t one of them. He departs and Tu stacks up a new total of over a million in chips.

3:50pm: Huge pot goes Obara’s way
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Jun Obara is a happy man right now, let me tell you.

After opening to 28,000, he was three-bet to 50,000 by Zhen Wen in the hijack and when it folded back to Obara he made the call. They saw a J♥7♣Q♥ flop, and Obara checked it to the raiser, who continued his aggression with a 60,000 c-bet.

Obara thenb popped it up to 160,000, and Wen snap-shoved with the bigger stack. Obara snap-called just as fast, and the hands were flipped:

Obara: A♥10♥
Wen: 10♦10♣

Obara had the nut flush draw and a gutshot, but was still trailing Wen’s pocket tens. The turn came the 3♣ changing nothing, but the K♣ river gave Obara the straight and the double up.

He’s up to 770,000 now, while Wen is down to 100,000. –JS

3:40pm: Ding’s chipping up
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Hongli Ding, the man who likes to celebrate winning pots while the hand is still going on, has already chipped up a bit here today without any antics.

After a 24,000 open from Ankush Prasad, Ding three-bet to just 38,000 on the button and Prasad called to see a flop. It fell 4♣10♥5♣ and Prasad checked it, letting Ding fire a c-bet for the same amount: 50,000.

Prasad counted out his remaining chips (292,000) and decided to fight another day. Ding is up to a little over 500,000 now, but we’re a disappointed we haven’t seen his now-trademark celebrations yet today. –JS

3:30pm: Ko KOs Tech
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Yuki Ko is off to a great start – he’s now stacking chips after eliminating John Tech.

Ko and Tech were the only two active players in the small blind and big blind respectively, and Ko led for 12,000 on a flop of 9♦6♣2♦. Tech made the call and the K♣ landed on the turn.

Ko then surrendered the betting lead with a check, but after Tech fired for 22,000, Ko put in a raise to 71,000. Tech moved all in and Ko snapped it off before they tabled their cards.

Ko: 9♥6♥
Tech: 8♦4♦

It was Ko’s two pair versus Tech’s flush draw and the J♣ river meant Ko would hold. The dealer cut down his stack of 248,000 to find that he had Tech covered. The latter made his exit as Ko climbed to around 540,000.

3:15pm: Yea busts the short-stack
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

It has by no means been a timid affair here in the early stages of today’s first level. We’ve already lost ten players in just 15 minutes!

One of the most expected to fall coming into the day was Japan’s Hajime Iwakura, who started the day with just 69,000. After Hongbin Zhang opened to 27,000 under the gun, Steve Yea flatted from middle position and t folded to Iwakura in the big blind. He stuck in his remaining 63,000, and Zhang quickly called.

Yea began weighing up his options, and in the end he decided that a shove was best. He put Zhang to the test, and in the end he ended up relenting.

Ikwakura flipped over the J♦5♦ which would need to hit against Yea’s A♣Q♥. But he’d find no help on the 2♠3♥9♦10♦8♥ runout and was sent to the cage.

When Zhang saw the entire board, he stood up in frustration as he clearly would have won the pot. Turns out it was an excellent shove by Yea, who’s now up to 615,000 from the 310,000 he started with. –JS


Good start for Yea

3:05pm: Shuffle up and deal
Level 20 – Blinds 6,000/12,000 (ante 2,000)

Cards are in the air for Day 3. –JS

2pm: Red Dragon Day 3 ready to spread its wings

MPC27 Red dragon trophy day 3.jpg

The penultimate day is upon us.

It’s not long now until the 81 remaining players from this record-breaking field of 1,308 take their seats again and battle down to a Red Dragon final table.

So far they’ve all locked up HK$40,850 but will have their eyes on taking home the HK$3,472,000 top prize to go along with the prestigious title and the best-looking trophy in poker.

At the moment it’s New Zealand’s Thomas Ward out in front on a mammoth 1.247 million in chips. He had a stellar Day 2 yesterday and will be back to try and keep the run good going. We’ll see how it all transpires from 3pm local time (GMT+8) so keep your browser locked to the PokerStars Blog for all the action from here in Macau!

Red Dragon Day 3 reports by Jack Stanton and Brad Kain. Photos by Kenneth Lim Photography courtesy of PokerStars LIVE Macau.


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